I was praying and meditating on the scriptures and the Spirit kept impressing on me that God has us here, right here, right now, for a reason. I’m here for a reason, you’re here for a reason. And I can’t take that for granted. I believe God's is moving, even now, and while you're reading this, He is working on the inside of you and expanding it to the outside. He makes special arrangements and interventions in our lives to help us be where we need when we need to be there, and to be WHAT we need to be when we are needed for someone. I believe that.
One thing I know is that God can change a person’s heart. I know He changed mine, and He changed Linda’s heart and the hearts of so many people who are in our circle of friends and loved ones. I have four things that I want to share with you today, that will open your eyes to what God is wanting to bring to pass in your life.
The number one thing I want to bring to you today is that God wants to fill our emptiness. HOW God does it and how He moves in a person’s heart isn’t the same for everybody. Sometimes it’s when the person is alone. Sometimes it’s when the person is with some friends and God begins to more in someone’s heart. A lot of times, it’s in a church. But I can tell you it doesn’t come down to who's doing the speaking, or who is the worship leader, or what the songs are, it comes down to desperation. It comes down to being hungry for God. Being empty enough that He can fill you.
One thing I know, is that people need to be hungry for God. Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, because they shall be filled. There are so many Christians who BELIEVE in God and may have or maybe at some time in the past have had an encounter with God, but they are not HUNGRY for God. I can tell you that I definitely want to hear from the Lord, and I always want to feel the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I never want to drift from that. Jesus said in Matthew 5 verse 6, blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Number two is that changing and growing can happen every day. The Bible says in Psalms 30 verse 23 that the mercies of the Lord are new every morning. You have fresh mercies, a new supply off mercy every day when you wake up! David said in Psalms 118 verse 24, that this is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.
I want to be that kind of Christian that if you talk to me, I've got something new to tell you about what Jesus has done for me, THIS week! Even something He's done for me today! I want to be available for the Lord to work in me and through me day and night!
I do believe we serve a God who wants you to grow. He wants to do a new thing in your heart. The Bible says that the mercies of the Lord are new every morning, and I believe that, and I keep encouraged that I don’t have to go to bed tonight like I woke up this morning. It’s the same for you, and God wants to do something new in your heart, and in your life. God wants you to know that we can better every single day.
I want to be a person who moves ahead in the things of God. I want to be a person who keeps growing, and be in a place where God can move us to some place even closer.
This is your day to say, God, do something new in me. He wants to do something fresh in your life. I want to KEEP changing my life! I want to experience that!
Number Three is that we need to be careful not to be shaped by the culture we’re in. In Romans 12 verse 2 it says, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. I don’t want to be conformed to this broken and painful world.
There are all kinds of crazy things attaching themselves to Christianity. So many ugly things have been linked to Christians, and churches. There has been so much ugliness, and all kinds of sins. So many accusations, so much hatred and so many divisions.
We’re not to be shaped by the cultures of this world, but by the culture of the Kingdom of God. We are the salt of the Earth! We are the light of the world! Jesus said so! We are different from the left, we’re different from the right, we’re different from the down and outs, we’re different from the up and ins. We’re not of this world and our kingdom is not of this world.
We tend to think that God mostly uses people who have great personalities and all kinds of Bible knowledge, and are great communicators. But that’s not what God says. He says that there is such a power in our testimonies, our stories of how God has worked in our life and what he is working on now. I’ve found in my life the number one thing God uses is our testimony, how we live, our lifestyle, our caring for people and being open to them and what they are going through.
I always want to be kind to people. I want to be caring about people. I want to be compassionate on people. I want to humble, and never look down on anyone. I want to be generous and give all the help I can to those around me.
We always want to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and not to insist that we always get our way or demand that God serves our desires, but that we serve His desires. He is Lord and I’m not. We want to live in the destiny God has for us and we don’t want to stay right where we are.
Many times, I'm not getting what I want, but I DO know that Jesus is who I need, so, no matter how I feel, I'm gonna keep on following, I'm gonna keep on having faith and I’m going to keep on being obedient.
Galatians 6 verse 9 says for us to not be weary in well doing, because we will reap at the right time, if we don’t give up. If we will walk with the Lord on a day by day basis, and keep being obedient, there will before long come a time where our appetite changes, our vision changes, and where we love what God loves. Just walking with him day by day brings little incremental changes that add up, and there will come a time that the YOU of Today will not even recognize the you that has come to be, by the grace, strength and power of the Spirit of God.
Number Four is Don’t Lose Your Focus. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3 verses 13 and 14, “this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
He never wanted to lose his focus. We can get stuck in our past, thinking on the many times we failed or messed up, and he’s saying you can’t move forward if you keep your eyes on the rear-view mirror. We’ve got to stretch out for the things that God has set before us, and press in for what God is wanting to do in your life.
We are wasting so much time in the body of Christ because Christians are not growing and following the lead of the Holy Spirit. We're getting caught up in things that aren’t worthy of our time, not worthy of our money, not worthy of our attention or efforts.
Not even everything going on in the church is worthy of your time or attention. Churches are arguing and focused on what style of music should be played to worship God by, how people should dress. Political parties, all kinds of things that are not the basics of the Kingdom of God.
God's doing great things, and if I get sidetracked into a side issue, it's one of the quickest ways to watch your spiritual growth diminish and to go backwards from the spirit back to the flesh and dead religion. That’s what happened to the Pharisees. It’s a common technique of the enemy to get God’s people paralyzed and ineffective.
If you read your Bible you'll see the Pharisees, the religious crowd of Jesus’ day completely miss what God was doing at the moment. Jesus was doing miracles and the religious crowd missed what God was doing right there in front of their faces.
Like, moments where Jesus would heal somebody, and rather than rejoicing about the healing people would be critical because Jesus healed them on the wrong day. Or he could heal somebody and the religious crowd would be complaining and accusing Jesus because in their minds, the person wasn’t worthy of the healing. It still happens today.
There are so many distractions and things going on. And we need to make sure that we don’t miss Jesus in the midst of all that’s going on around us and turning our heads. We need to listen to the leading of the Spirit of God and be sure that we are where the Lord would have us to be. Our question always needs to be, Jesus, are we where you want us to be?
We need to be sensitive to the people in our lives that the Lord is reaching out to. We may not be aware of what is happening and what He is wanting to do for them. We don’t need to know all the details, we just need to be aware of the fact that the Lord may be working in their lives and we want to be part of what He is doing. We can be sure that God is wanting to move in their lives and that His grace is reaching out to them, even when we can’t see it.
I wonder how many times we have missed the move that God wanted to do because we're too involved in so many things that are really not much more than distractions. I regularly come before the Lord and say, Lord let me be about what you're about, let me be where you want me to be and say what you want me to say, to be part of your working in the hearts of people, to reach them and help them to find you as their own Lord and Savior.
What the Holy Spirit wants to do is to make sure that you stay active in your faith, following His leadings, growing in your walk with Him, available for Him to use. Where every day you wake up and say, God use me today. Open my eyes, my ears, my heart, my mouth. That’s how we don't miss the miracles that Jesus wants to do right here in front of our face.
When you’re conscious of what God is doing and you know that God is moving, you can keep growing and walking with the Lord. I try to live in that place where I at least know he's doing something. I may not know what it is. I don't know HOW he's gonna do it, but I can know that God is faithful and I'm gonna keep on serving Him and being available to Him.
You know you don’t have what it takes. I know I don’t have what it takes, but I DO know that God is going to stay faithful. Jesus doesn't ask you to have what it takes. He has what it takes. So when you walk by faith and draw near to Him, everything that He has prepared for you, begins to unfold in your life.
Your response to the callings of God is to draw near. To be obedient, and God will handle the outcome. We can’t always see what God is doing but by faith, we know that He is at work and that He is moving in our lives and other peoples’ lives day and night. Jesus said in John 5 verse 17, "My Father has never stopped working, and this is why I keep on working."
God is always at work. Jesus is always at work. The Spirit of God is always working and moving in peoples’ lives, heart and situations. That’s why you can pray like you're actually praying to the God that answers every need, and hears every cry, listens to every prayer. The Bible says in Ephesians 3 verse 20 that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
His power, the power of the Holy Spirit is in you and He is able to do more than you can ask, more than you can imagine, more than you could even think up. He's gonna do more than you think He will.
We want to be those Christians who move beyond halfway Christianity. We want to be those Christians who move beyond just faithful when we have a need or are scared kind of Christianity. We want to be those Christians who move beyond Sunday morning Christianity. We want to be 24/7 Jesus day in and day out year in and year out until that day we leave our bodies and join Him in Heaven, Christians.
That’s God plan, that’s God’s will and that is God desire to have happen in your heart and life as well as in mine. I'm seeking that, I'm hungry for that and I pray that you are too!